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Johns Hopkins And Belgian research center to expand health care applications for silicon nanotech

Researchers and physicians at The Johns Hopkins University will collaborate with Belgian nanoelectronics research center imec to advance silicon applications in health care, beginning with development of a point-of-care device to enable a broad range of clinical tests to be performed outside the laboratory. The collaboration, announced today, will combine the Johns Hopkins clinical and research expertise with imec's technical capabilities. The two organizations plan to forge strategic ties with additional collaborators across the value chain in the health care and technology sectors.

"Johns Hopkins has always prioritized innovative and transformative research opportunities," said Landon King, M.D., the David Marine Professor of Medicine and executive vice dean of the school of medicine. "Our new collaboration with imec is such an opportunity, and we very much look forward to leveraging our respective strengths across the university in biomedical and nanotechnology research to improve patient diagnosis and care throughout the world."

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Bloomberg School of Public Health and Whiting School of Engineering have teamed up with imec in the hope of developing the next generation of "lab on a chip" concepts based on imec technology. The idea is that such a disposable chip could be loaded with a sample of blood, saliva or urine and then quickly analyzed using a smartphone, tablet or computer, making diagnostic testing faster and easier for applications such as disease monitoring and management, disease surveillance, rural health care and clinical trials. Compared with the current system of sending samples to a laboratory for testing, such an advance would be "the health care equivalent of transforming a rotary telephone into the iPhone," said Drew Pardoll, M.D., Ph.D., the Martin D. Abeloff Professor of Oncology. Pardoll leads the advisory board for the Johns Hopkins-imec collaboration, which will work to extend new applications of silicon nanotechnology into multiple areas of medicine.

"This relationship with Johns Hopkins is an important step toward creating a powerful cross-disciplinary ecosystem with consumer electronics and mobile companies, medical device manufacturers, research centers and the broader biopharma and semiconductor industries, to create the combined expertise required to address huge health care challenges that lie ahead," said Luc Van den hove, president and CEO of imec. "Only through close collaboration will we be able to develop technology solutions for more accurate, reliable and low-cost diagnostics that pave the way to better, predictive and preventive home-based personal health care."

Rudi Cartuyvels, senior vice president of smart systems at imec, added, "The unique combination of imec's nanoelectronics expertise with Johns Hopkins' proven medical sciences and clinical expertise will enable us to jointly develop game-changing solutions for more effective health care."


Contact: Shawna Williams
Johns Hopkins Medicine

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